Halloween always comes along with a ton of candy
Are your children picking Halloween costumes and making trick-or-treating plans? Without question, the spooky dress-up holiday can be a lot of fun for children. However, Halloween always comes along with a ton of candy and tempting treats—much of which can be super hard on the teeth. Unfortunately, this means Halloween can be a pretty scary time of year when it comes to pediatric oral health. Here are a few tips for concerned parents to help mitigate the risks as much as possible without ruining the fun.
Get to know which types of candy are the worst and limit them.
Not all types of candy are the same; some are harder on teeth than others. Hard candy can be worse than others because it has to dissolve in the mouth and stays in contact with the teeth longer. Likewise, sticky treats with caramel or taffy can stick to the teeth. Some chewing gum is not so bad, such as those that are sugar-free or made with natural ingredients.
Limit how much candy your child consumes in a day.
Once your child is done trick-or-treating, sit with them and separate out all the types of candy. For example, sort out the chocolate, chewing gum, and lollipops into piles. Then, use sandwich bags to divvy up the candy into portions that are allowed for each day. For instance, you may choose to give your child one lollipop, one piece of chocolate, and one gummy candy per day.
Make sure your child drinks water with the candy.
Make sure your child drinks plenty of water when they do get a few pieces of candy. This helps up saliva production and keeps sugary residue washed off of teeth. Likewise, if possible, get your child to eat a few crunchy veggies like carrot sticks or broccoli florets after they have eaten their candy, as this can also slough away sticky residue. Also, make sure your child is extra vigilant about brushing and flossing after candy consumption.
Strike a bargain and make some trades.
Candy may seem hard to pry from your child’s hands, but there may be something they enjoy just as much. If you prefer to eradicate part of their candy stash so you don’t have to worry about over-consumption or eating too much “bad” candy, propose a trade. For example, your child could possibly trade in their candy for movie tickets, cash, or a new toy.
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